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Guatemala Rural Child Health and Nutrition Program

17702791851 167075e66f o
17702791851 167075e66f o


Paul Wise
Principal Investigator
Alejandro Chavez
Project Coordinator

The primary goal of the Guatemala Rural Child Health and Nutrition Program is to use the capacities of Stanford University to save young children’s lives in Guatemala and other areas of the world plagued by conflict and political instability.  Part of the Children in Crisis Initiative, this Stanford effort in Guatemala has been focused on young child malnutrition, the central contributor to child mortality and life-long disability in these regions. Stanford University faculty and students are working closely with local community health workers in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala to eliminate severe malnutrition and develop new, more effective ways to reach needy communities in remote and politically complex parts of the world.

The Stanford initiative in Guatemala is committed to developing new strategies and tools that will make effective health and nutritional interventions accessible to needy communities around the world.  In addition to expanding the program to reach thousands of more children in Guatemala, the Stanford initiative is currently moving forward to enhance its global impact:

  • Stanford computer science students and faculty are working with the Guatemala community health workers to develop a mobile system that greatly reduces the training requirements of workers charged with identifying, treating, and monitoring malnourished children;
  • Stanford students and faculty in the Graduate School of Business are using sophisticated “big data” analytics to create predictive models that will help prevent malnutrition long before it occurs;
  • Faculty in the Stanford School of Medicine are developing innovative training systems with the potential to greatly expand global community health worker programs, a crucial step in bringing essential health services to areas without access to basic nutritional and medical care.

New collaborations with the Central American Healthcare Initiative and the INCAE Business School have already brought the Stanford work in Guatemala to leaders throughout the region. The tight linkage of the Stanford Guatemala programs with the larger Children in Crisis Initiative at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford School of Medicine will ensure that the lessons being learned in Guatemala are shared with scholars, programs, and governments throughout the world.